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Auroran guilty of groping woman on plane

SrinivasErramilli | Illinois sex offenders register photo

Srinivasa Erramilli | Illinois sex offenders register photo

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Updated: January 15, 2013 11:37AM

His latest victim angrily smacked him and called him a “pig” or a “pervert.”

Now a serial airplane groper faces up to two years behind bars after he was convicted a third time of making unwanted sexual contact with a sleeping woman during a flight.

Aurora-based software consultant Srinivasa Erramilli visibly gulped as a federal jury found him guilty Thursday of groping a fellow passenger on a June 2011 flight from Las Vegas to Chicago.

Moments later — as his tearful wife looked on from a courtroom bench — he had his head in his hands.

Erramilli, 45, of the 1900 block of Dunhill Lane, twice tried to inappropriately touch a Chicago-area woman sleeping next to him on the Southwest Airlines flight in June 2011, evidence showed.

But by the third time Erramilli ran his hand up the woman’s inner thigh, she was awake and suspicious, though her eyes were still closed. She angrily beat him and told him “Get your hands off me!,” several witnesses testified.

The victim’s husband was sitting beside Erramilli at the time, evidence showed.

The couple had been in Las Vegas to celebrate their 34th wedding anniversary. The woman wanted to sleep on the flight, so she took the window seat, while her husband sat on the other side of Erramilli in the aisle seat so he could easily use the bathroom.

Confronted by his victim, Erramilli shamelessly claimed she’d “liked it,” prosecutors said.

That’s an excuse he also tried when he was previously arrested in 2002 on a Northwest Airlines flight from San Jose. Erramilli got probation for that incident, and for a similar 1999 groping incident on a flight from Detroit.

This time a prison term is more likely. Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer allowed the Indian national to remain free on bond until he’s sentenced in April.

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